State Rep. Allen Peake is among the influential conservatives torn over Donald Trump’s rise – and teetering toward disavowing the party’s nominee.
A former floor leader for Gov. Nathan Deal and the champion of medical marijuana legislation, Peake told us for a story that ran Sunday that the prospect of the New York businessman in the White House “scares the bejeebies out of me” - though he said he'll still support him over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
A few hours later, the Macon Republican sent over what he calls his “Republican manifesto” that sets Peake’s guideposts for conservatives in Georgia – and distances himself further from Trump.
Peake, a restaurateur often considered a candidate for higher office, said he recognizes that uttering negative comments about his party’s nominee will alienate many in the GOP - and could be the “death blow” to his political future. But, he adds, he’s come to terms with that.
Here’s Peake’s manifesto:
While the medical marijuana issue or my own self-inflicted mistakes may have cost me any potential run for a future statewide office, my honest assessment of Donald Trump and the future of our party may be the death blow to my political future. But I've come to grips with that and I'm good with it.
The reality is that Donald Trump as our nominee makes me incredibly fearful for the future of our party. We have alienated Hispanics and African-Americans, both groups who would support us if we stuck to an agenda focused on jobs and the economy. We have made ourselves enemies of the gay community. And from discussions with my gay brother, many would support us, because many are moderate on social issues but fiscally conservative.
And millennials have written us off because of our stances on issues like medical marijuana and gay marriage. So, as a party, we are basically working ourselves toward extinction. And if we don't do some soul searching and make efforts to reach out to these groups, that's where we end up.
To remain a vibrant party, we have to stay focused on the core Republican principles - smaller government, less government intrusion on our lives, and more personal responsibility for individuals. If we remain true to those principles, we can, and will, remain a positive influence on our country for generations to come. That's my hope and my prayer for my party.